In this photo Class of 2011 and 2012 alumni Terrence Wilson, Machine Operator at Dudek & Bock Spring Mfg Co., and Rahkeem Buford, Machinist at Paasche Airbrush, took the afternoon off from their jobs to come speak to over 200 students for our Mfg Day “Passport to Careers and College” Open House to share their experiences. Both young men were candid about the pitfalls of spending more time on the streets than in school, but shared how the MC program gave them the opportunity to learn technical skills, work experience and career coaching support to have the kind of job they can plan their futures around. On October 2nd, 240 Austin high school youth learned about manufacturing and what Manufacturing Connect has to offer them this school year. 225 students participated in the “MC Passport to Careers and College” Open House on the Austin Multiplex Campus to learn about all of the activities and benefits of the MC program. Two local manufacturers also stopped by to meet students and learn how to get involved. Meanwhile, a group of 15 MC participants went on a field trip joined by MC Industry Coordinator Bill Vogel, Dan Swinney and Austin Multiplex Counselor Ms. Harris. The group got to meet a couple Austin Polytech alumni, Rene Kenney Plymouth Jr, Class of 2014 and Torres Hughes, Class of 2012, at their work stations. Torres has worked for Freedman for over a year and is now taking advantage of his company’s tuition reimbursement program to work towards his degree at Triton College. After Freedman, the youth attended the Jane Addams Resource Corporation (JARC)’s Open House which showcased interactive stations including CNC Turning, CNC Milling, Press Brake and Robotic Welding. Special thanks to the Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership, Chicago Metal Metro Consortium, and the Illinois Manufacturing Excellence Center, Freedman Seating and JARC for making this field trip possible.